Disturbing footage shows a captive killer whale beaching herself for more than 10 minutes on a concrete slab at a theme park in Spain.
According to the Dolphin Project
, which is run by Richard O’Barry of the documentary The Cove
, the video shows Morgan the orca beaching herself after a show that had ended on May 16 at Loro Parque, and remaining motionless for at least 10 minutes.
The video of the orca was shot by the anonymous activist group the Morgan Monitors.
The theme park claims this behavior is "totally natural," however critics says the whale's actions are a sign of suicide
In a statement to Sky News
, Loro Parque responded to critics, stating:
"The orcas at Loro Parque are trained to leave the water on their own accord. This behaviour is used for manifold purposes, for example, for presenting the animals to the public, for conducting corporal check-ups, for inspecting their blowholes, as well as for testing hearing abilities of the orcas. Pretending that's a stress test shows an enormous ignorance about the behaviour of these animals."
The orca was the center of controversy in 2010, when she was rescued in the Netherlands
and taken to the park Dolfinarium for rehab. After it was determined that the tank she was held in was too small, a Dutch court ruled that Morgan should be moved to Loro Parque in 2011.
In March, SeaWorld announced it was ending its orca breeding program
, and that the orcas at their parks in California, Texas and Florida would be the last generation of captive orcas.